Soft pretzels rise to dominate fast food industry

Several local fast food restaurants sell their own unique versions of soft pretzels, providing a perfect savory snack.


Molly Hendricks

Putting the pretz to the test…Taste testing six different soft pretzels, senior Sophie Rodrique contemplates the winner. Pretzels are locally sold at Rita’s, Dairy Queen, Wawa, Philly Pretzel factory, Applebees and Sonic.

Providing individual soft pretzels, various fast food locations have gifted the community with superb treats. By putting the salty snacks to the test, the superior pretzel will be revealed.
Soft pretzels date back to 1861, according to Penn Appetit. They were first baked in our very own state of Pennsylvania. Supposedly, they were popular during the Civil War, and soon after, commercial pretzel factories began to rise up.
Philadelphia is known for loving pretzels, which is evident when between Harleysville and Souderton, there are several establishments where they can be found.
The Harleysville Rita’s location serves hot soft pretzels that provide a classic taste. They are served with a side of spicy mustard, which adds some extra tang.
It should be noted that time is money with these pretzels, as they are best when straight out of the oven. Eat them fast, because after awhile, they won’t be fresh.
An important factor of pretzels is their size and appearance. The Rita’s pretzel is a great, filling size. The shape is a classic singular twist. Each pretzel is baked to a golden brown crisp, and appears to be appetizing.
The salt-to-dough ratio for the Rita’s pretzel is generally ideal, which always matters. The outside crust is basic, but it is baked just the perfect amount, without any grease. Inside, the dough is comforting and soft.
Make sure to give the spicy mustard a try. Although it is not for everyone, it adds a tangy accompaniment to the simple pretzel. Overall, I rate the Rita’s pretzel a seven out of 10.
Just a few minutes away lies Dairy Queen where pretzel sticks with zesty queso are sold.
These are perfect when you need a greasy bite to get through a rough night. The sticks are singular straight soft pretzels with a sweet and savory taste.
If you’re not in the mood for a very greasy pretzel though, do not seek out this dough.
With a good salt-to-dough ratio, the pretzels receive a few more points. The dough is chewy and warm, but has a sour aftertaste. My advice for these pretzels is to steer clear of the zesty queso.
Overall, Dairy Queen receives a six out of 10.
Down the road, you can find a few different types of pretzels at Wawa. The store sells individually wrapped soft pretzels, and hot stuffed soft pretzels as well.
The plain soft pretzel is basic, but classic. With a more dry and hard outside crust, the inside dough makes up for it with it’s thick interior. There is a pleasant amount of salt and the shape and appearance is cute.
However, the hot stuffed pretzels are incredibly superior.
They are highly addictive with melted a cheddar cheese center. The shape is by far the cutest, as it is a small symmetrical loop knot.
With perfect flavor and warmness, this pretzel is heavenly. It is best fresh out of the oven, and makes the perfect comfort food snack.
Wawa’s pretzels are of high quality and receive a nine out of 10.
A local Souderton classic is the Philly Pretzel Factory, which is particularly known for its soft pretzels.
When fresh, nothing beats these twists. They tend to be more heavy on the salt, and are only superb when eaten fresh.
Philly Pretzel Factory receives an eight out of 10.
When in the mood for more of a sit-down experience, hit up Applebees and try their brew pub pretzels and cheese dip. These are quite the appetizer.
Ultimately, the appearance of the pretzel sticks is incredibly gourmet.
Each stick is warm and greatly salted.
The dough is slightly sour, but pairs fabulously with the melted cheese dip.
Applebees receives a nine out of 10 for their exquisite pretzels.
Last, but certainly not least, is Sonic Drive-In. Though it requires a bit of a drive, their soft pretzels are to die for. At the drive-in, say you’d like a “soft pretzel twist with cheese please.”
The twist tastes more like sweet fried dough, but the salt provides the most amazing pretzel around town.
These pretzels are a hit, and can be given a 10 out of 10.
Sonic even provides a complimentary peppermint along with the order.